Last Friday night was an event called the AllWriters' Friday Night Free-For-All. It is an event held quarterly at the writing studio that is free to the public. It features short readings from 4 different students, namely poetry, memoir, short story and novel. There were also readings from Kathie and Michael Giorgio at this particular event in recognition of the studio's 7th anniversary. Kathie has done a wonderful job at building a successful creative writing business that has even weathered the current recession we're experiencing.
I'm not one who particularly likes public speaking, but was asked by the Director to do a reading from my memoir I'm working on. I was honored to be asked, so picked a story about one of our foibles at a canoe launch in the BWCA. I was a bit nervous going in, but for some strange reason, not as nervous as I've been in the past. I got up and read my 12 minutes worth and it went off without a hitch. Judging from the crowd's reaction, it was well received. The good feedback actually helped calm my nerves quite a bit, something to remember the next time you hear someone speak.
The rest of the readers were amazing too. My friend Deb Tetzlaff read from her novel-in-work about a woman who prays from her apartment balcony for cars driving on the freeway. She's got a knack for story telling and it comes out great in her emotion-filled reading. Michael and Kathie's readings were outstanding too. Michael had a couple of short fiction pieces and Kathie did a re-make of the Gift of the Magi that was moving, to say the least.
After the readings, I hung around and socialized with some of the other students and spectators. Though the event is open to the public, it is heavily slanted toward existing students and their supporters and families. I got to meet a couple of cool writers from the Tuesday class and talk shop. Like any conference, it's good to network with people who have the same interests. We can talk about struggles and successes, rejections and acceptances. These folks have been there and can relate.